start_title_30Hey, kids! Today’s secret word is “HELLA”.

Writing slang is tough, especially when you’re writing it for characters who are of a younger generation than your own. Even if you understandĀ the definition of the terms you can still blow it when using it in the wrong context, and the results are often embarrassing (the single worst example I can think of came from the awful cartoon series The Batman, where a kid, seeing Batman holding jewels, blurts out “That bling-bling is gnarly!”…and I really hope the writer was thrown off of a building topĀ for that one).

Today I make an exception, even at the cost of my own dignity (which is worth maybe a bagel or two), to insert the secret word of the day. I grew up on “hella”; it was as common as the word “cool” and used anytime you really wanted to emphasize your point (make it more or less analogous to today’s all-too-painfully-frequent misuse of “literally”). “Hella” is usually regarded as a north California-only term, to the point where most people here in Hollywood tend to look at me like an alien when I unthinkingly throw it out.

Well, I don’t care. It’s my nostalgic term and I’m keeping it. To quote Randall in Clerks II, “I’m taking it back”. You don’t have to use it, but I am, and the characters in my comic will hella use it.